Dressed in a crisp white shirt and African print skirt, Lucy Quist combines an affable manner with determined professionalism. As Head of Strategy and Planning at Vodafone Ghana and Managing Director of Vodafone Wholesale,Lucy wears two distinct and equally challenging hats. This mother of two, comes from a unique engineering and business background and attributes her multi-tasking flair to the training and experiences that have brought her this far.
Lucy began her working life at the Ford Motor Company in 1994. For a decade, she worked in manufacturing, design engineering, project management and programme management,working her way up to qualify as a Chartered Electrical Engineer. Seeking fresh challenges, sheacquired an MBAfrom INSEAD in France and joined the Royal Bank of Scotland, at atime when the bank was transforming its investment banking operations and embarking on itshigh profile acquisition of ABN AMRO. “We moved from transforming the bank from retail to investment banking to integrating what were essentially two different banks. That was an extremely exciting time. Never a dull moment; always something new to discover and new people to meet,”she recalls of those days. “I like the excitement of new challenges and new perspectives. Think it through and deliver results!” she adds.
These experiences nurtured skills that proved imperative in her development as a leader.“I was taught a lot of rigour; a lot of structure; a lot of focus in what I do. Keeping my eye on the ball and making sure that the vision is not lost in translation.” These valuable lessons prepared Lucy for her next professional adventure: telecommunications in Africa.
A product of Wesley Girls’ High School, Lucy was keen to pursue opportunities in Africa after living and working in the UK, Portugal, Germany, Spain and France. Telecommunications in Africa came as a natural choice to the engineer who specialized in telecommunications for her first degree.
Intrigued by the challenge of Africa’s burgeoning telecoms industry, Lucy joined Millicom (Tigo) as the regional head of Business Development for Africa. It was a role that took her all over to French and English speaking Africa, seeking new opportunities for the company.She then transitioned to lead Tigo’s Sales and Operations in Ghana, until she was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her biggest challenge in this role was to maintain the company’s edge following a regulated price floor that left little room for manoeuvre.
From Tigo, she joined Vodafone Ghana, where she is currently playing a critical role in the company’s growth.Under her leadership, Vodafone Wholesale has successfully connected its fibre network from Bolgatanga in Ghana to Onatel in Burkina Faso and Togotel in Togo. This fibre connection, landing in the small town of Cinkasse between Burkina Faso and Togo, is the first of its kind in West Africa and now enables landlocked countries in parts of West Africa to access high capacity international bandwidth from Ghana.For her strategy role, Lucy draws on her ability to simplify complex inputs to define a clear strategy that continues to drive the highly successful company.
Born to parents who had big dreams for themselves as well as for her, Lucy’s trajectory has come to reflect the passions of her mother who wanted to see the world and her father, who believed that academic achievements opened doors to the world. She was fortunate that her husband embraced these passions and continues to be her number one supporter in achieving her professional goals. The composite of this background and her varying educational and professional experiences have produced an effective leader who seeks to bring out the best in her team. Her passion? Tapping into human potential to deliver outstanding results.She describes herself as an engaging leader who commits her energy to developing her people. She enjoys seeing them soar!
This makes her an important asset, not just to Vodafone, but to the telecoms industry in Ghana and Africa.
“I have found a professional home.It’s called telecommunications”, she says.“In this home, my passion, skills and interests are brought to bear to deliver excellent results.
I think there is so much to be done. The excitement of it is an industry driven by real human need that can interface with every industry in the world.”
For one driven by stimulation the perfect fit has been found; aligning experience, passion and temperament with opportunity and delivery.